Theolytics is harnessing viruses to combat cancer: transforming patients’ lives; through world leading science; with a great team.
Oxford, UK, 8th July 2021
M Ventures – the strategic venture capital arm of Merck – joined the Theolytics’ investor syndicate alongside Epidarex Capital and Taiho Ventures in an extension to the Series A financing, which includes additional investment from Taiho Ventures and the University of Oxford.
Spun-out of the University of Oxford in 2017, Theolytics has been developing the world’s largest library of potential adenovirus product candidates and breakthrough bioselection systems. The company’s internal pipeline development focuses on oncolytic virus therapies, while the proprietary platforms can be applied across other adenovirus-based modalities.
The expanded Series A funding will support the progress of internal programmes in ovarian cancer, and a second cancer indication in addition to further advancing the company’s unique technology platforms. As a part of Theolytics’ accelerated growth, the company will transition to state-of-the-art facilities on Oxford Science Park.
"Oncolytic virus therapies have the potential to help multiple large patient groups in oncology however their translation to date has been hampered by significant challenges."
Charlotte Casebourne, CEO of Theolytics said “A warm welcome to the M Ventures team. This investment further validates the breakthrough potential of Theolytics’ technology, and will enable us to accelerate our progress in developing transformative therapies for patients in need.”
Therese Liechtenstein said “Oncolytic virus therapies have the potential to help multiple large patient groups in oncology however their translation to date has been hampered by significant challenges. Theolytics is the first company to apply a truly systematic oncolytic virus discovery platform to overcome these challenges and build the next-generation oncolytic virus therapies. After actively exploring this space for a number of years, we as M Ventures are delighted to join the syndicate and become part of Theolytics. We look forward to supporting the team’s mission to make oncolytic viruses a successful novel therapeutic modality to help clinicians and their patients.”
Kenneth Powell, Chair of the Board said “I am delighted that Therese Liechtenstein will join our Board of Directors. M Ventures represents a wealth of drug development and commercialisation expertise to support Theolytics’ future progress.”
Theolytics is focused on developing category changing cancer therapies in the form of oncolytic viruses. The company is pioneering a phenotypic screening approach to the discovery and development of efficacious, targeted candidates suitable for intravenous delivery and optimised for a chosen patient population. Theolytics, which was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Oxford, UK, backed by Oxford Science Innovation (OSI) and international life sciences investors Epidarex Capital, Taiho Ventures, and M Ventures.
About M Ventures:
M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact the company’s core business areas. From its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel, M Ventures invests globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. M Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. M Ventures has a significant focus on early stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage the company’s science and technology base.
About Epidarex Capital:
Epidarex Capital is a transatlantic venture capital firm with a track record of building exceptional life science companies in emerging hubs in the US and UK. Epidarex’s experienced team of early stage investors partner with entrepreneurs and leading research institutions to transform world-class science into highly innovative products addressing major unmet needs in the global healthcare market.
About Taiho Ventures:
Taiho Ventures, LLC is the corporate venture arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a Japanese specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on oncology, allergy and immunology, and urology. With $300M under management, we are actively investing in early-stage innovative companies strategically relevant to Taiho Pharmaceutical. We consider company creation, spinouts and the option-type of investments as well as pure equity investments.